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Re: General Positive Feedback re: revision of site (fwd)

Terry Dawson wrote:
>>>>Is there any good reason why we can't use the OpenSource Definition?

David Lawyer responded:
>>>Yes.  First, it's for software, not docs.

The OSD (http://www.opensource.org/osd.html) is obviously focused on
executable source code, but it's not clear to me that's a fatal problem.
Lots of definitions of "software" include "documentation."
Even more interestingly, when you use SGML the distinction (and issues)
of "source" vs. "object" code still apply.  The advantages of referring
to a well-known, heavily-discussed, and widely-understood definition are
numerous; you could easily add a clarification that redefines documentation
(in the form usually edited) is treated as source code.

This assumes, however, that you actually want anyone to be able to edit
changes to a document, which appears to me to be a contentious issue
under discussion right now. The OSD does permit licenses to
require identification of all changes or modified versions, as the
DGPL (and other such licenses) require.  Clearly many current documents
don't meet this criteria, and it appears contentious to require it on
all new documents.

>>> But mainly it does not require
>>>that licenses be free.  It doesn't even have a requirement that a license
>>>must permit one to make copies.  If you cant copy it, you can't even put
>>>in on a website.

I don't understand this comment.  Point #1 is "Free redistribution", and
point #3 is "Derived works".  To my knowledge, the open source definition
_requires_ that licenses be free.  Did you mean that the
"sample license" on linuxdoc doesn't require licenses be free?


--- David A. Wheeler

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